The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 22...

So today, I found myself about to engage in a wonderful pun aimed at the great town of Chesterton, Indiana; host to a fantastic Wizard of Oz festival every year. However, as is often the case, I found it necessary to insert an additional chapter designed to explain some stuff. It did allow me the chance to poke a little fun at something odd I discovered within the chapters of Scarecrow of Oz and Tik-Tok of Oz, two great books by L. Frank Baum in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz series.

Tonight, I return to Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings with the intent of another set of puns poking fun at one of my favorite movies of all time, Yellow Submarine. I'm also working on some difficult issues not related to these two books I'm working on and hope to see some progress as I work to complete a promise I made to someone very special in my life, my granddaughter Heavenlee.

Time will tell...

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 21...

So last week, I was knee-deep in the writing madness when the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival came along and the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma (that's me) found himself smack dab in the middle of Oz. It was a great time and book sales were fair, mainly due to the weather, which was icky-poo on Sunday. Nonetheless, I always enjoy myself when I travel up north for this fine festival, now in its 30th year.

Having returned on Sunday evening of last week, I chose to take a break and recharge my muse. Now, it's 7 days later and I have returned to the writing madness and have managed to regain the spirit of Oz in all its glory.

Last night found me working on Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. As a co-writer, it is a unique experience trying to craft a story from 2 different perspectives. I find it to be very rewarding experience, especially when it all comes together... and so far, it appears to be happening once more.

As of last night, I have managed to send my heroes on their way to the grand adventure that awaits them. I am especially pleased to make Locasta, the Good Witch of the North the heroine of this story... at least that's the plan. Only time and my co-author, Ron Baxley, Jr. will tell.

Tonight, I was able to return to The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu and get my two heroes together and nearly back into Oz, in a manner of speaking. Unlike most authors, I find it no trouble at all to bring the muse forth once it has struck me, which occurred well over a month ago. The agonies of Aadon Blu are now behind me and his new future beckons him onward... with the help of his new friend, Nicholas Pickleless.

It would seem that I am averaging about 1800 words per night of writing madness, which is about par for my unique, frenzied pace of writing. That's why I call it madness!!!

For now, I put down the keyboard and call it a night. Tomorrow is another day of the Writing Madness of Oz!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Part 2: The 30th Annual Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival and Magician of Oz!

When we last left our hero (that's me), it was Saturday night at Flannery's Tavern and the Irish Root Beer which was prescribed by the Wizard had done its best!

Sundy was another day and you could tell by the skies that it was gong to be yet another soggy day in Oz!


Despite my best efforts, I just couldn't keep the rain away. Every year, it seems to rain at least one day out of the three and Sunday was this years rainy day. Still though, spirits were high and Oz was everywhere. The rains certainly didn't seem to damper this Scarecrow's enthusiasm for Oz!



It was nice to see the International Wizard of Oz Club out and actively seeking new members.


And of course, the weather didn't deter the Fab Five from making their rounds throughout the park.





Be it the ball toss or Magic Matt with his incredible balloon hats, kids were having fun throughout the festival.

At around Noon, it was Magic Matt, a fellow magician and active member of the Society of American Magicians who delivered some very somber and devastating news for me personally.
If you've ever had the chance to read any of my Royal Magician of Oz trilogy books, you'll know who Hank and Buddy are. To clarify, Hank and Buddy are based on two old and dear friends, fellow magicians and overall great people who I knew back in the 70's. We were part of a group who founded Ring 210: the Duke Stern chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. It was Hank who went on to a very successful career in magic, including the presidency of the S.A.M chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His son Buddy and I were close friends during those early years. So Matt mentions that Hank Moorehouse had passed away several weeks ago while touring in China. Needless to say, I was devastated. Moments later, a haunting flute rendition of "Amazing Grace" came wafting over the loudspeakers in the park and I was left speechless. The rest of the day is a blur and sales were down anyway from the rain, so I was glad when 4 O'Clock came around and I could pack up before the closing ceremonies. Here's a link to the blog posting about my appearance at Magi-Fest earlier this year and my reconnection with Hank Moorehouse.



By now, the rain was getting a bit heavier and I was wishing I was beneath that there gazebo with the rest of Oz. Despite the rain though, everyone seemed to be enjoying the closing ceremonies, including Robert and Claire Baum, and Karen Marsh Doll (Judy Garland's stand-in during filming of the Wizard of Oz).


Roger and Charlene Baum seemed to be enjoying the rain and the good-natured ribbing of John Fricke, who was not enjoying the rain.


Finally, after some very brief remarks and thank-yous all around, John Fricke led the Munchkins (Margarette Pellegrini, Karl Slover). Munchkins-by-Marriage (Myrna Swensen, Mary Elllen St. Aubin) and the rest of the celebrates in a haunting, if somewhat rain-soaked rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Turns out John Fricke has a wonderful baritone voice. A quick dash back to the van for a change into dry clothes and I was off to the wrap-up party.

As I was one of the first to arrive, I got the wonderful honor of sitting with Rick Ewigleben, Joe Shipbaugh, Walter Krueger and a few others while we listened to Karl Slover (an original Munchkin) tell the most incredible stories. One after another, non-stop for over 90 minutes! He was like the Energizer Bunny! He kept going and going and going...


Each story was a hoot and I wished it would never end, but then everyone else showed up and the festivities of farewell began in earnest.



After a fine meal and some great conversations with the fine folks who run this great festival, they brought in a stunning cake!


Then the guests of honor, those fine people who we have all come to cherish gathered about for a great photo opportunity.


A gathering of Oz dignitaries like this may never come around again, so everyone got in the action for a photo. Looks like even the Land of Oz has its Paparazzi!!!


Afterwards, the long 3 1/2 hour drove home and I found myself inspired during the journey to write a new chapter in my newest book, The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu. I do believe the folks of Chesterton will be both amused and pleased with what I've managed to come up with.

Overall, I was very pleased with the weekend's events and my role in it. Sales were fair, due mainly to the rain and Sunday was a sad day following the news I received, but Life goes on. I was quite happy to spend some time with Roger Baum and his wife, Charlene, both of whom have warmly embraced my work and me as a person. They represent what is good and wonderful about the Land of Oz. I was also very pleased to have been stationed next to Rick Ewigleben and Joe Shipbaugh, as well as John Fricke to my north. They have always been very kind to me and I am grateful for that. They too are a credit to Oz.
To my south, fellow authors Julienne LaFleur and Michelle Russell were a joy to be around.


This was Julienne's 2nd time in Oz and I was pleased to have introduced her to the joys of Indiana Corn-on-the-Cob. It seems they don't carry that kinda food in California.

In fact, I found everyone there to be outstanding Ambassadors of Oz and I do so look forward to next year.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Part 1: The 30th Annual Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival and Magician of Oz!

Last weekend saw the annual gathering of Oz folks in the northern Indiana town of Chesterton celebrating all things Oz. For me, this was my 3rd year in attendance and, I'm pleased to say, my best so far...


Attendance this year seemed very good for Saturday and clear skies with warm temperatures made for a very pleasant day in Oz.


The drive up from Terre Haute was fairly uneventful and by 9am, I had set up and made myself ready for the onslaught of Oz fans.


Fortunately, I'm getting much better at looking happy. I was pleased to feature my newest book, Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz, which I co-wrote with Ron Baxley, Jr..
This was also the Chesterton premier of Family of Oz, which completes the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy and fulfills Her Majesty's Royal Command that I tell the story of Her newest royal magician and his travels into and out of Oz.

The day itself was full of Dorothy's...


... and even one of the canine variety!


Dorothy's house made it's debut this year and was very impressive. I'm just glad I didn't go for a ride in it!




I was very pleased to be stationed next to some lovely costume reproductions, including Glinda's dress and both the Flowerpot Munchkin's dress and the Coroner's Robes/Hat.


 There was also a great reproduction of the Wicked Witch of the West's dress, including something I had never seen until very recently.


What's this???? Could it be???? Yes!!! The Wicked Witch of the West had a purse!!! Alright, it's called a Waist Satchel... but it still looks like a purse to me!




The Gazebo looked great!




And the usual characters were bounding about as usual!!!

 

It was nice to meet up with Michael Siewert once more. I find him to be a genuine pleasure to be around and I always look forward to his company. It's this way with everyone I see at these festivals. They treat me like one of the family and I am most grateful for their friendship and fellowship.

As usual, there were street performers who were very entertaining...




Near the end of the day, I couldn't help but notice a nefarious pair of Oz folks, making their way through the crowds...




It would seem that the Wicked Witch of the West is out shopping for a new dress...



On Saturday evening, I was most fortunate enough to attend the Oz Collectors Exchange and Auction where I served as the volunteer Auctioneer, along with Mike Dykens (I hope I spelled that right). Having been a Ringman for auctions for over 25 years now, I thought I would be fairly good at it... and it turns out I am, but wow is it hard work!!! Still though, I felt like I did my part to support the fine folks who put this together as a charity fundraiser for next years event. Everyone seemed to have a good time, which is always important in the Land of Oz.

Afterwards, I found a very nice Irish Tavern that served an excellent prescription of Irish Root Beer (that's Guinness beer served in a root beer mug) which helped my ailing, sore throat after the night's work calling bids.




So for now, I'll call it a day and save Sunday's events for another posting. 

All in all, Saturday was a fine day in Oz, both for me as an author, a fan of all things Oz and as an Auctioneer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 20...

So, the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival fast approaches and I find myself in great anticipation of the impending fun that awaits me.

I always enjoy myself there and do well in book sales. I also find it an interesting place to meet interesting people. It's kinda like a Star Trek Convention. Costumes, tattoos,and Dorothy's everywhere!

Oh my!!!

I'm sitting down to finish up the return of Aadon Blu in The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu and I find myself being very comfortable with what's coming out on screen. The nice thing is that I get this feeling every time I've sat down to work on Magician of Oz, Shadow Demon of Oz, and Family of Oz. I do so love continuity...

When I work on Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings or when I worked on Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz, I get a different flavor of the mental process and the feelings are quite different, though equally satisfying. I suppose it's the whole Wonderland thing...

Go figure!?

Now, the muse calls and the green & black dragonfly is buzzing in my ear!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 19...

So, it's been 5 days since the Vison In The Glass and I have finally returned to the beast to resume the madness!

The vison was very powerful and after consultations with several witches and pagans whom I know, I have concluded that the Vision In The Glass was a Fairy Encounter... and I'm now certain it was indeed Her Majesty, Princess Ozma manifesting Herself to me in my time of greatest need. I was at a point of great conflict within the character of Aadon Blu and I feel that Princess Ozma sensed my need. As always, Her Majesty has come through when my own self was in crisis.

Now, I have returned to the muse and last night found me working on Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. I managed to complete nearly half the chapter, which is going to be a long one. I normally don't do long chapters but my co-author has reminded me that the heroes of Oz are running late.

Nonetheless, everyone is in Emerald City and awaiting further orders from Princes Ozma.

I expect to return to The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu tomorrow and begin the trek towards the adventure.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 18...

So, roughly 42 hours ago, I had a vision, or an apparition, or something like that. What it was, I still don't know.

I was sitting at the beast, bringing myself into the moment for writing, which is how I usually do this kinda thing. I had determined to begin working on the next chapter of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu and found myself at a bit of a crossroads, so to speak. I had introduced my two main characters, set the back story for both, including a most intense 1st chapter unlike anything I had ever written before, and was working towards bringing both characters together.

Now, it's midnight and as I sit there, my mind wandering a bit over details of plot and character and the like, I looked over at something faintly glowing white and very tenuous, reflecting in the glass of the bookshelf on the far wall. I usually write best after midnight and I tend to write in the dark, with only the computer screen for lighting. As such, there was nothing available to reflect against the glass, so I was stunned to observe something... It quickly moved off to the right and vanished without a trace. I saw it for only the briefest of instances but I am certain I saw something. With this ethereal vision came a feeling unlike any I've ever had before. I can't put it down into words and I have no words to describe it. After posting a quick note on this blog so that I may not forget what I experienced, I began writing what has become an even more intense chapter, albeit considerably shorter, than chapter 1. Visions of despair and agony, Evil and hope, family and Love came flowing out in torrents and me unable to stop until I found myself unable to write anymore that night. The intensity of what I felt and the moment of inspiration had overwhelmed me and I was unable to sleep the remainder of the night.

What it was I saw, I still do not know. Perhaps a ghost, a specter, or a lost wandering soul seeking out redemption? Maybe Her Majesty, Princess Ozma? Who can say? Certainly not me, though the image still haunts me and I can think of nothing else. I was reminded briefly of a scene from Return to Oz when Dorothy sees something almost identical in the mirror of Mombi's Hall, which turns out to be Ozma, reaching out to Dorothy. Have I had my own encounter with Her Majesty? It wouldn't be my first, but it certainly would qualify as the oddest and eeriest I've ever had.

For now, I sit back and reflect on the Vision In The Glass and wonder what it all means.
I am very pleased with progress so far on both stories.
I'm also getting more excited as the annual Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival approaches in less than 2 weeks!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 17...

It is midnight and I've had a vision. It was an odd, ethereal shadow of light, reflection of another world. What it means, I know knot.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 16...

So, after a weekend of allowing my brain to work out some details regarding the Triad Syndrome that I am looking to incorporate into Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings, I suddenly find myself inspired to resume where the madness had left off.  

 This particular weekend was begun early on with the announcement of the impending arrival of our 13th grandchild. We finally have our Bakers Dozen!

For now, the muse returns and I am off to the races... or in this case, Emerald City.

On a lighter note, I saw a green with black stripes dragonfly today. Odd that I'm thinking about one for The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

I believe Her majesty is at work here...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 15...

One of my most important tools as a writer is my brain and the imagination that comes with it. I sat down last night to begin working on the next chapter of Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings and soon found myself at a critical point early in the story.

During the writing of Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz, I had made a conscious decision to explore the nature of conflict that often comes with the choice between doing what’s right and doing what’s necessary, especially when one’s life is at stake. That very conflict provided for a wide variety of responses and outcomes, most of which can be found all around us. So many of us make these choices, though few are as deadly as those in Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz.

Now, with Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings, I’m looking to extend my reach with the exploration of what I call the Triad Syndrome. I’m sure it has another name, but I refer to this Triad Syndrome as the relationship between 3 disparate concepts and how combining all 3 into 1 accomplishes a greater purpose, though not always for Good. Sometimes, Evil wins out, though in this story, that won’t happen.

Having introduced my main heroes and set them out to learn of their task, I find that I now have two separate sets of 3 concepts in the guise of our heroes. Now, I’m thinking about adding a third set of something (what I know not yet) that will make for a larger Triad and an even greater purpose, which in my writings, always means Good wins out over Evil. The question is how to do it… These things must be done delicately!

As odd as this may sound, one of my inspirations comes from a Star Trek: Next Generation episode in which a negotiator utilizes what he refers to as a ‘chorus’ of three who speak on his behalf. His conflict arises when his ‘chorus’ is destroyed and he must function without them.
           
There is also, of course, the concepts of the father, the son and the holy ghost found in the catholic religion.
            
 For my triad of heroes and the two other triad of others/things, I envision an epiphany of sorts which requires all 3 triads to work together for the common good and the overall defeat of Evil. Having never gone this far in my scope as a writer, I look forward to what my mind will bring about… and having a talented co-writer makes my work so much easier, especially since we seem to be thinking along very similar lines.

For all of today, tomorrow and probably into the weekend, I will focus on running dialog and settings through my mind and explore how I might make this happen.

Only when I have satisfied my concept into reality will I write it down and move forward. This is the most critical time in any story and for Whether the Sea Is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings, I feel this choice will either make or break the story.

Only time and Ozian inspiration will tell what I will write.